Dash-cam video shown in Alston trial

October 23, 2008 5:43:33 PM PDT
Testimony started today in Rafer Alston's DWI trial. Alston was arrested this summer after police say they saw him driving erratically with his headlights off. But the nine-year NBA veteran has declared his innocence.

On the night Alston was arrested, he had a $130 bar tab at Pandora's nightclub on Washington. However, he says he only had three or four drinks and he simply picked up the bar tab for his friends who were with him. The arresting officer says that he did see Alston driving erratically and that his lights were off.

Harris County prosecutors played dash-cam video in the court Thursday. The video shows the traffic stop from August during which an HPD officer arrested Alston. The officer says he stopped Alston for making an erratic lane change and not having his headlights on.

The officer testified that Alston became belligerent during the stop. During cross-examination, Rusty Hardin stated that the video does not show Alston becoming belligerent at any time.

In opening statements, Hardin told jurors there was a simple reason why Alston had his lights off. He was driving a brand new car and a valet worker turned off his lights. He didn't realize that the headlights were still off because the lights on the dash were on. Hardin said the street Alston was on was also well lit and he had no idea his lights were off when he was pulled over by authorities.

The assistant DA said he is not out to prove that he was overtly intoxicated. He is out to show that Alston had bad judgment, that those three to four drinks he did have at the club did impair his judgment. Alston didn't take a field sobriety test and allegedly got into an argument with the arresting officer.

The trial is expected to last a couple of days.

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